KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Medicaid Expansion Improves Health Access, Study Finds

Even with different approaches, both Arkansas and Kentucky saw progress in low-income adults' access to medical care after expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study in Health Affairs says. In contrast, Texas -- where Republican leaders have refused to expand the program -- saw far more modest gains in coverage and access.

The New York Times: Better Health Care Access In Kentucky And Arkansas, Study Says
Low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas have had similar improvements in access to medical care under the Affordable Care Act, a new study found, despite the two states’ differing approaches to expanding Medicaid. ... The study, published in Health Affairs, found that Arkansas and Kentucky had significant reductions in the number of low-income adults without insurance from 2013 to 2014. (Goodnough, 1/5)

USA Today: Study: Expanding Medicaid Aids Health Access
Poor adults in two states that expanded Medicaid saw much bigger improvements in access to health care than their peers in Texas, which didn’t expand the government insurance program, a new study says. The research shows that the uninsured rate dropped 14 percentage points more in Kentucky and Arkansas than in Texas. ... “The big message we found is an expansion — any expansion — makes a big difference compared with no expansion,” says lead author Benjamin Sommers. (Ungar, 1/5)

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Helping Improve Access To Medical Care For The Poor, New Studies Show
States’ Medicaid expansions through the Affordable Care Act are helping low-income patients access medical care and improving hospitals’ bottom lines, according to two new studies that add to growing evidence about the benefits of the health law. ... Researchers also found major gains in the share of residents who said they had a check-up in the prior year, which increased more than eight percentage points in both Kentucky and Arkansas. And they found sizable increases in the percentage of patients with chronic medical conditions who got regular care, which increased more than 6 percentage points in the two states. (Levey, 1/5)

Arkansas Online: Study On Medicaid Expansion Finds Increased Access To Health Care
Low-income, non-elderly Arkansas adults were more likely last year than a year earlier to be insured and less likely to report skipping a prescription because of the cost, according to a study released Tuesday. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found similar changes in Kentucky, which, like Arkansas, expanded its Medicaid program. It found that both states appeared to make comparable gains in improving access to medical care when compared with Texas, which did not expand Medicaid. (Davis, 1/6)

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